The Halo franchise has been building its identity for 20 years now. While campaign co-op and the map-building Forge mode haven't necessarily been foundational elements of the series, they've become key, iconic features since. As such, it came as a surprise when fans learned that neither will appear in Halo Infinite when the game launches later this year - but they will be added in a post-launch update eventually.
Halo Infinite, the sixth mainline installment of the series, has a lot to prove - it's a flagship title for the Xbox Series X|S and has to be a triumphant return to the glory days of Halo after many fans have noted its decline with the past two titles. Its development hasn't been an easy journey, and the game suffered a one-year delay preventing it from launching alongside the new Microsoft console.
As 343 Industries scrambled to overhaul and improve the game under pandemic lockdown conditions following a poorly received reveal, concessions have been made to ensure that a top-quality experience can be delivered without additional delay. This meant leaving some features out of the release, so that time and resources could be dedicated to perfecting the core game.
343 Industries has confirmed in a development update that campaign co-op and Forge won't be part of Halo Infinite when it launches - this is the cost of keeping it on schedule for this November. That's something the developers confirmed, by the way. Fans need not fear any further delays, as things currently stand.
We've also got an official timeline for when these features will be added in, so it's not like they're a pipedream. Halo Infinite is also adopting the popular "seasons" format that's all the rage with AAA games these days, and the current content pipeline has campaign co-op scheduled as a full title update sometime in Season 2, and Forge will be added with Season 3.
Halo Infinite recently had its own technical test, which led to a bunch of information about the game such as weapons and vehicles getting datamined and posted online.
While we still don't have a fixed release date for the game, Phil Spencer has stated in the past that the game is nearing completion but the company wants to avoid launching in proximity to other major games, hence the date is kept fluid. Since Call of Duty: Vanguard was recently announced to launch on November 5 and no other major releases are expected, we think an announcement for Halo's date is imminent.
Halo Infinite is expected to launch this November. If leaks are to be believed, we might even get a crossover with Destiny 2 soon after.